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Director of Clinical Content


Considering going to the local dental school for implants.What are the pros and cons?
  • 60 years old
  • Conditions: n/a

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Featured Answer

2 UpVoted this answer Dr. Ada Gruita, DDS Dentist, Mission Viejo
If your reason for going to a Dental School to have an implant placed is to save money, I would choose a Dental School that also has graduate programs in Periodontics or Oral surgery. My experience is that experienced dentists who are faculty members supervise all treatments performed by students and you are likely to receive quality treatment. Be prepared for more appointments and longer treatment times in that setting. I would prefer to have my implant placed by a dentist who has performed the procedure hundreds of times and is very experienced! It may not cost as much as you are anticipating!
Michael L. Green
1 UpVoted this answer David J. Darab, DDS, MS Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon, Hickory
I teach in two dental schools. The quality of care is similar but be prepared for a long wait. Where I work there is a minimum of two visits (usually of 2-3 hour length) to treatment plan. Then, if your dental health is good, you'll be contacted by the perio department usually in about 4-6 weeks. Then there's another treatment planning visit with them, potentially followed by imaging studies. There may be grafting required (which could be the case anywhere) which takes about 3-6 months to heal. Then the implant takes about 3-6 months to heal. The time until you have a tooth in your mouth privately is probably 6-7 months. At a dental school it's more like 12-18 months.
Zach Korwin
There are pros and cons to going to a dental school. It will take more appointments to complete the process but it will save you money if you have time on your hands. A dental school with graduate programs where a instructor is over seeing clinical dentistry would be preferable. There are other options like a CE training program for implant placement where a very well trained course instructor will do a work up and many course instructors are available to over see the implant placement., Some CE course training programs will also have other courses such as crown placement. If you don't have the time for a CE training course or time to visit a dental school. I would advise you to find a local specialist in your area who has placed many implants and have a consultation. Some times implants placement isn't as expensive as patient think they are going to be.
I've done Implants in dental school 10 years ago and now in private practice for many years.

The main thing you should expect is the length of treatment and duration of time before you get a crown to chew on. In a private practice, usually you can expect anywhere from 4-6 months average. However, in a dental school setting, it may take anywhere from 12-24 months. You will have to determine if the wait if worth it for you.
I recommend considering your needs and wants first andu derstand that an implants doesn't replace teeth but replaces NO tooth/teeth. In other words, if you still have your teeth or tooth discuss with dentist or dental student provider your treatment options. Your natural teeth are the most important to try to save. If you have already accepted the proposed treatment option to proceed with an implant then consider your needs and wants such as cost, time, experience, etc.

Pros-Dental students or grad student will be under the supervision of a licensed specialist (periodontist or oral surgeon), cost will be less

Cons-Missed work days for longer and more appointments, dental student experience level

Best wishes!
Pros - Cost

Cons- Dealing with a certain level of inexperience
Having work done at a dental school will definitely save you money however it will take significantly longer to have the work done. If you live close to a school and are able to spend multiple appointments that are approximately 3-4 hours per visit this may be a good option for you. I do however recommend you see a local periodontist to find out how much an implant will cost you through a private practice, It may be less then you think and they may have payment plans available for you. Then make your decision. Taking into consideration all the missed work the dental school treatment may end up costing you more then you think. Good Luck,
The pros would definitely be a lower cost and treatment under supervision of well trained specialists. The only cons would be an investment of considerable time with no guarantee of being selected as a patient and if selected the process usually takes a greater number of longer appointments.
Pros are it's cheaper

Cons are:

1) it probably will take 5 time longer

2) the person placing it has placed a few or maybe even dozens - when you could have someone who has placed thousands.

3) they are often in bed with a particular implant company and they may not use the best implants. Right now I think Aden, Biohorizons, Straumann and Astra make the best implants. THere are other companies that are big, but have a lot of hype and failures.
Lawrence D. Singer
The only downside of going to a dental school is time. There are many checks and balances to ensure great predictable care but treatment typically takes longer in a dental school than a private practice
James A. Vito